OnePlus’ Budget Smartphone: The Oneplus Nord

image credit: Adeleke Micheal

With each release, OnePlus’ flagships are increasingly out of the reach of consumers, Nord is here for this very purpose and that is to bring some of the OnePlus flagship experience and core values to the more value-for-money segment of the market- after all this is what made OnePlus what it is today. The mid range category is dominated by Xiaomi and Realme in most markets and now the iPhone SE has completely outshines the competition in this category. Now here we have the OnePlus Nord, will it live up to it’s consumer’s expectations? Let’s delve into it and find out.

OnePlus Nord Specs and Features

  • Body and Display: 73.3 x 158.3 x 8.2 mm, 6.44-inch OLED, 2400 x 1080 resolution with a 20:9 aspect ratio and weighs 184g
  • Rear cameras: wide-angle 48-megapixel, ultrawide 8-megapixel (119-degree) lens, 2-megapixel macro camera, 5-megapixel depth sensor
  • Selfie camera: wide-angle 32-megapixel, ultrawide 8-megapixel (105-degree) camera
  • Processor/Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G octa-core CPU (1×2.4 GHz Kryo 475 Prime & 1×2.2 GHz Kryo 475 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 475 Silver), Adreno 620 GPU
  • OS/Platform: OxygenOS 10.5 based on Android 10
  • Memory: 8GB/12GB RAM LPDDR4X
  • Storage: 128GB/256GB UFS 2.1
  • Battery: 4,115mAh
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.1 with AptX, AptX HD, LDAC, and AAC, Sub-6GHz 5G, LTE

Biometric authentication: fingerprint sensor

  • Fast charging: Warp Charge 30T
  • Other Features: Under-display fingerprint sensor, single loudspeaker, linear vibration motor, face unlock, alert slider

image credit: Adeel Shah

Despite The Nord being a value-for-money device, it is very attractive and well-designed and will catch anyone’s eye. When it comes to the design, the OnePlus Nord is absolutely premium. You actually get the same premium build and finish as on the flagship OnePlus 8 series, with a metal frame sandwiched between Gorilla Glass on the front and back. It’s a large device measuring 73.3 x 158.3 x 8.2 mm in dimensions and weighs about 184g. This makes it wider, thicker and heavier than the OnePlus 8, meaning small hands will definitely find it difficult to hold with one hand. The power/lock key on the right sits just below OnePlus’ now-familiar alert slider, which lets you quickly switch between silent, vibrate and loud modes. It’s volume rocker sits on the opposite side, while on the base you’ll find a centralized USB-C port next to a speaker and the dual SIM card port; unfortunately, there’s no headphone jack on the OnePlus Nord. On the back you’ll find the OnePlus logo and the camera cluster which is arranged on the left side, much as has become tradition lately. It’s also a sizable bump, so the phone never quite rests flat on a hard surface. According to OnePlus, the Nord does have water resistance, but it doesn’t carry an official IP rating, which would guarantee it’s dust- and water-repelling abilities.

Display

OnePlus Nord has a large 6.44-inch OLED display with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 resolution with a 20:9 aspect ratio. OnePlus has gone ahead and done what some brands wouldn’t/didn’t do, and that is give the display a 90Hz refresh rate. At its price range, i doubt there are many or any that will challenge it in this area. The beautiful display has minimal bezels – the thickest one is at the chin or bottom of the display. There is no notch on the display but there is a punch-hole cutout in the top-left corner housing the dual selfie cameras, similar with the one on the S10 plus and Realme 50X Pro 5G.

image credit:crypto news

Cameras

The standout feature of the OnePlus Nord is it’s camera setup. There are a total of six cameras on the handset, four on the rear and two on the front, the most OnePlus has ever put on a smartphone. On the rear, you have a 48MP main camera, 8MP ultra wide camera, 5MP depth sensor and 2MP macro camera. The main camera on the rear is the same one used on OnePlus’ flagship phone – the OnePlus 8. It’s a 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor (with EIS and OIS image stabilization) teamed with an f/1.57 lens, which can take 48MP images, although by default it’s set to 12MP. The reason for this is because the 48MP images are around three times the size of the 12MP shots, which means your storage would fill up a lot quicker if every shot you took was at the higher resolution. On the front, the main 32MP, f/2.45 snapper is accompanied by an 8MP, 105-degree ultra-wide-camera, which comes in useful when taking group selfies.

Processor/Chipset

When it comes to internal specs the Nord lives up to it’s price tag, it’s not flagship specs. It is powered by the Snapdragon 765G chip paired with the maximum 12GB (8GB on the base model). Compared to the iPhone SE it doesn’t even compare actually. The A13 chip inside the budget iPhone is a flagship-level chipset that can beat even the Snapdragon 865 chipset that sits one whole tier above the Nord’s silicon in Qualcomm’s pecking order. Other than that, spec-wise it is a decently capable smartphone for the price.

image credit: Gizmolord com

Battery

Juiced up with a 4115 mAh battery, this is much larger than what you would find in most mid range devices and some flagships too. It’s also twice the size of that found in the iPhone SE. The phone comes with the same Warp Charge 30T block that OnePlus also throws in the box for the OnePlus 8 series. According to OnePlus, you can get to 70% full from empty in 30 minutes of charging. Unfortunately for those that love wireless charging, the Nord doesn’t come equipped with this feature.

Conclusion

Picking a mid range phone is normally tricky but quite simple at the same time. You pick the features that are most important to you because no mid range phone is going to offer all of them. When it comes to the Nord, however, it’s a little harder to put it’s compromises into simple terms. It’s too well-rounded, meaning there are no serious pitfalls, but there’s also no single area where it excels. This means it’s a very easy device to recommend to anyone looking for a mid range devices that has a little of everything but also lacks a little of something too. Compared to the iPhone SE, however, it’s hard to say which one is really the best over the other. If you’re not so particular about the type of OS/platform, if hardware quality is even a small priority for you, then given OnePlus’ awesome display, excellent battery life and more versatile cameras, I don’t think the iPhone SE’s wireless charging or superior chipset makes it worth passing up the chance to own a Nord.

So how about it then? what do you think of the OnPlus Nord, would it fancy your interests? Let me know in the comments below. Stay safe and take good care!

The OnePlus Nord is now available for purchase, CLICK on the following links:

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